PS 118 2nd essay - Ryan Fessler PS 118 Essay#2 According to...

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Ryan Fessler PS 118 Essay #2 According to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan , a “black swan” is a highly improbable event that is unpredictable, carries a massive impact, and something that we try to make seem less random (T, xvii-xviii). Black swan events can happen at any moment, such as the September 11, 2001 attacks. Taleb also believes that we learn from repetition, and that after the 9/11 attack; there is a far less chance of it occurring again (T, 78). We tend to overestimate the recurrence of specific black swans, like terrorist attacks. When it comes to racial profiling, especially people from the Middle East, a common stereotype is that they are involved with these terrorist attacks. This is a confirmation error, according to Taleb (T, 308). Since the terrorists of 9/11 were Middle Eastern, this would seem to confirm the general belief that Middle Eastern people are terrorists. Of course, not every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist. Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink , believes that thin-slicing plays a key role in reading people’s minds and also gives an example of racial profiling. Amadou Diallo, an immigrant of Guinea who lived in the Bronx, was shot and killed by New York policemen in 1999. He was killed because they made a huge mistake when thin-slicing Diallo. They saw him as an immigrant who was looking suspicious and who didn’t seem to be scared of the police. Diallo was just curious, and when they saw him reach in his pocket they assumed he was going to pull out a gun. The officers thought he was dangerous, but he was just scared and reaching for his wallet (G, 189-196).
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Ryan Fessler PS 118 There is an argument that Middle Eastern profiling is justified. Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum believes that Islamists from the Middle East have intensified violence globally. Islamists have attacked the United States eight times prior to September 11 (TS, 330). Pipes also states that Muslims living in America have to make a choice as to whether integrate into the United States or join the Islamist way of life, which believes that their way of life is superior and want it to be a global lifestyle (TS, 331). He also thinks that the United States must not allow any more Islamists into the country, which may lead to further scrutiny for law-abiding Muslims (TS, 332-333).
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